It was almost 18 years ago when Juliette Fergus’ then 86-year old grandmother was walking on the Danforth and collapsed in front of a local business. Thanks to the kindness of a stranger who performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and the prompt care she received at MGH to treat heart failure due to low potassium levels, Juliette’s grandmother is now 104 years young.
“Because of the prompt diagnosis and personal care she received at MGH, my grandmother was able to be there for some of the biggest events in our family, including my wedding and the birth of my daughter,” says Juliette. “I can’t imagine the impact on our lives had she not been able to be there.”
Her grandmother’s story is just one of many life moments Juliette can connect directly to Michael Garron Hospital.
From a playground bicycle accident as a child to family experiences with mental health, the hospital has always played a role in the background of Juliette’s life.
When her daughter was born bradycardia—a slower than normal heart rate—the physician care she received at MGH in addition to her midwifery support, was critical to ensuring her child was ultimately born healthy.
“And it wasn’t just the care we received at my daughter’s birth; we were also incredibly impressed with the hospital’s family birthing centre and the prenatal classes,” says Juliette. “They just made the whole experience so much more comfortable.”
Providing care on a day-to-day basis
Juliette, an East Toronto realtor, feels strongly that the hospital is so much a part of the fabric of our East Toronto community that we’re often dangerously close to taking it for granted.
"We live in a specialist culture and sometimes the community hospital can get forgotten," she says. "But Michael Garron Hospital is really a place where we seek health care resources on a day-to-day basis without even thinking about it."
And for her, there’s never been a reason not to give back.
“There really wasn’t a question that I would donate to the hospital,” she says. “I came from your typical hard-working, blue collar East Toronto background, and knowing that there was this community healthcare resource to trust through all of the health milestones in my life, it was always in the back of my mind that once I had the ability, I would give back. I want to make sure these valuable resources are there for the next generation.”